Women's (K.O.) World Championship, Round 2 Finishes
Thursday, November 8, 2018 at 1:40PM
Dennis Monokroussos in Women's World Championship

Today round 2 of the Women's World Championship came to an end - a complete end, we might say, as it already finished for most of the matches yesterday. (Rounds consist of two classical games, one per day, followed by a third, tiebreak day if necessary. Today was the tiebreak day.)

Defending champion and top seed Ju Wenjun beat the last American (albeit of only two), Irina Krush, 1.5-.5. She won her first game with White, drew game two with Black, and took today off. She'll face another Chinese player in round 3, Mo Zhai, who scored her second straight 2-0 upset, this time of Nino Batsiashvili.

The next match also featured an upset and a Chinese player, but this time it was the Chinese player getting upended. Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjovonova (now that's a name!) defeated former women's world champion Zhongyi Tan in today's tiebreaks. They drew their classical games, and then GT won the first rapid game when her kingside play proved more fruitful than ZT's queenside counterplay. Game 4 was a draw, but if anything GT should have won that one as well. In round 3 she will play Valentina Gunina, who defeated former champ Anna Ushenina 1.5-.5.

Second seed and 2017 runner-up Anna Muzychuk has won both her matches with 2-0 scores, this time defeating Anastasia Bodnaruk. She will face Antoaneta Stefanova, who defeated Dinara Saduakassova in tiebreaks. They drew their classical games, and then Stefanova won with a kingside attack in the first rapid game before giving Saduakassova a charity draw in game 4 in a dead won position.

The next pairing featured yet another former champion; namely, Alexandra Kosteniuk. Kosteniuk defeated Shiqun Ni 2-0 in the tiebreaks (once again, after two draws in the classical games). She'll play Harika Dronavalli, who won the second tiebreak game over Bela Khotenashvili to end a series of three draws.

Dronavalli's Indian compatriot Humpy Koneru was upset by Polish underdog Jolanta Zawadzka 1.5-.5; Zawadska will fact Zhansaya Abdumalik, who beat Zhao Xue with two wins in the tiebreaker after - you guessed it - two draws in the classical portion of the match.

Former champion Mariya Muzychuk lost the first classical game, but struck back against Ekaterina Atalik to win game two and then, after a draw in game three, the second tiebreak game to win the match 2.5-1.5. She'll face the revelation of the tournament, Mobina Alinasab, who followed up her win over Elisabeth Paehtz in round 1 with a 2-0 shutout of Monica Socko in round 2. At 2236, Alinasab is by far the lowest-rated player remaining in the event. (Maybe she won't be by the later rounds, if she keeps winning. She has already gained 54 points in just four games!)

Kateryna Lagno had two draws and then two wins against Thanh Trang Hoang, and will face Natalia Pognonia in round 3. Pogonina had the longest match of the tournament so far, winning 4-2 against Zhu Jiner. Pogonina lost game 1, won the rematch, and then drew the first two rapid games before winning the last two games to advance.

Finally, Alisa Galliamova beat Aleksandra Goryachkina 2-0, and will face Lei Tingjie, who was a 1.5-.5 winner over Nana Dzagnidze.

Article originally appeared on The Chess Mind (http://www.thechessmind.net/).
See website for complete article licensing information.